Persona 3 Reload Review | The Definitive Edition of a Modern JRPG Classic

Today in this in-depth Persona 3 Reload Review analyzing the definitive remastered edition of the iconic PS2 JRPG. This 2024 upgraded re-release for modern consoles & PC enhances the graphics, expands the story, refines gameplay, and adds accessibility options while retaining the original vision.

Learn how the HD visual upgrades, 5 new Social Links, expanded epilogue, and quality of life improvements make Persona 3 Reload worth playing for both nostalgic Persona fans and series newcomers drawn in by smash hits like Persona 5 Royal.

Enhanced Release of Modern JRPG Classic

Persona 3 Reload builds on the strong foundation of the original game with a variety of meaningful upgrades that make this iconic JRPG worth revisiting. This Enhance Persona 3 Reload Review which explains all features and aspects of this new remaster.

Persona 3 Reload Review


The Persona series has become one of the most popular JRPG franchises, appealing to hardcore genre fans and more casual players alike with its addictive blend of dungeon crawling and relationship simulation mechanics. The third mainline entry, Persona 3, made big strides for the franchise when it first launched in 2006 thanks to its memorable characters, emotive storytelling, and innovative calendar system that structured much of the gameplay.

Persona 3 would receive an enhanced rerelease in Persona 3 FES just a year later, adding new content and gameplay tweaks. An alternate version called Persona 3 Portable then brought the game to PSP in 2010 with the option to play as a female protagonist among other changes.

Now in 2024, Atlus has gone back to the well again for a new definitive edition called Persona 3 Reload. This remaster polishes up the visuals in HD, expands the story with new narrative content, refines some gameplay systems, and provides platform parity by releasing on modern consoles and PC simultaneously:

For both nostalgic fans and Persona newcomers brought in by the recently released Persona 5 RoyalPersona 3 Reload checks a lot of boxes in terms of improvements a remaster should offer. The rest of this review dives deeper into the specifics.

You can checkout Persona 3 Reload Guide If you are a real Persona 3 lover or fan.

Persona 3 Reload Review: Graphics and Visuals Comparison

The graphics and visuals receive a noticeable facelift in Persona 3 Reload. While remaining true to the original art style, improved textures, higher resolutions, and enhanced character models give the game a more polished look.

  • Textures across environments, characters, and shadows are sharper and more detailed
  • Increased display resolutions up to 4K support richer colors and crisper image
  • Character models for party members and major NPCs have been reworked with more polygons to avoid jagged edges
  • Animations have been smoothed out, avoiding some of the stiffness from the PS2-era characters
  • Full widescreen presentation better accommodates modern display formats

These visual upgrades are most substantial during cutscenes and pre-rendered videos where the higher fidelity media really shines. But moment-to-moment gameplay also enjoys subtle beautification thanks to the revamped assets.

The graphical performance holds up well across all platforms with smooth frame rates. As expected, PC offers the most customization over resolution, textures, and post-processing options to scale based on your hardware.

Persona 3 Reload Review: Gameplay Improvements

On the gameplay side, the fundamentals of dungeon crawling and Persona fusion remain untouched, avoiding the risk of fixing something that isn’t broken. But Persona 3 Reload does introduce an array of quality-of-life improvements and balancing changes that streamline the user experience.

  • Refined combat and movement with less stiffness and latency
  • Streamlined gateway for Persona and weapon fusions
  • Reduced penalty for player character deaths
  • Modern concessions like adjustable difficulty and accessibility options

The user interface receives visual tweaks across menu screens to both modernize and provide crucial information more clearly during fusion sessions, shopping trips, and combat. Small but welcome adjustments help reduce unnecessary friction given modern standards.

New Story Content

Persona 3 earned praise for its emotionally heavy plot and themes regarding mortality and existentialism. Persona 3 Reload preserves that poignant narrative while elegantly expanding it with new Social Link conversations and anime scenes totaling almost 8-10 hours of new story content.

  • Five new Social Links with interesting party members help further round out their backstories and motivations
  • Deeper conversations for existing Links offer more insight into beloved characters
  • Anime cutscenes with Japanese voice acting help spotlight pivotal moments both old and new
  • Late-game narrative changes and set up epilogue events to provide better resolution

This previously untranslated content from the Japan-exclusive Vision Quest re-release compliments the base game wonderfully rather than altering its essence. The new vignettes organically slide into the existing calendar system while the evolved epilogue notes leave the story on a higher yet bitter-sweet note.

Persona 3 Reload Review: Audio Upgrades

The emotive soundtrack of Persona 3 also gets remastered treatment in Reload, with cleaner instrumentation on gems like the unforgettable Burn My Dread opening theme song. Many audio effects receive fresh recordings adding more immersive ambiance, from Midnight Channel static to ambient school classrooms. The English and Japanese voice work remains top notch, especially for new Link conversations and anime scenes.

Persona 3 Reload Review: Post-Game and Replay Value

Persona 3 already offered tremendous replay value from game-to-game thanks to its addicting loop. But Reload adds even more compelling reasons to start New Game Plus with additional challenges to overcome and milestones to achieve in the end-game.

  • Tougher optional dungeons to conquer after completing main quest
  • Changes to Persona Compendium completion and rewards
  • Special accessories and costumes for maxing Social Links
  • Achievements and Trophies separate from original releases

These perks combined with wanting to experience the excellent new story content make this enhanced re-release very enticing for replays if you have 200 hours to spare.

Persona 3 Reload Review: Performance Analysis

Regardless of platform, Persona 3 Reload performs admirably thanks to its clean graphical overhaul. The versatility of PC leads in resolution, framerate, and load times if sporting a solid rig. But surprisingly the Nintendo Switch port holds its own as well thanks to some prudent optimizations.

PlatformResolutionFramerateLoad Times
PlayStation 54K/60fpsLocked 60fps15 seconds
Xbox Series X/S4K/60fpsLocked 60fps15 seconds
Nintendo Switch1080p Docked720p Handheld30fps Docked/Handheld25 seconds
Windows PCUp to 4K/120fpsUncappedSSD Dependent

As expected, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S deliver slick 4K presentation and buttery smooth combat thanks to their cutting edge hardware. The Switch naturally takes a visual hit in display resolution and frame rate compared to its stationary counterparts. But smart engineering keeps load times and performance respectable during roaming and battle.

Comparisons to Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 Reload constitutes an authentic definitive edition combining the best aspects of FES and Portable into one package. The expanded narrative and gameplay refinements come directly from the Vision Quest version only released in Japan. This content fleshes out the experience significantly compared to OG Persona 3 and the female protagonist route from P3P serves as an additional way to enjoy New Game Plus.

Pricing and Editions Breakdown

Persona 3 Reload launches at $59.99 USD across all platforms. Deluxe and special editions bundled with art books, soundtracks, and collectable merchandise are also available for hardcore fans. Despite being a remaster of a 15+ year old game, the quality and breadth of new content make Reload feel worth full price, especially for Persona fans yet to play this seminal entry.

Verdict: Who Should Play Persona 3 Reload?

Both nostalgic Persona fans eager to revisit this masterpiece with welcome upgrades and curious newcomers drawn in by smash hits like Persona 5 should absolutely play Persona 3 Reload. The enhanced visuals, quality of life improvements, and excellent new story content help this iconic JRPG feel as fresh and compelling as during its initial PSP release back in 2010.

Persona 3 Reload stands tall as the definitive version of an avant-garde classic that helped redefine storytelling and mechanics for JRPGs. Both long-time genre fans and series newcomers shouldn’t hesitate to play or replay this stellar enhanced release.


How is Persona 3 Reload?

Persona 3 Reload is a new enhanced and excellent version of iconic JRPG. In this game now graphics, audio are upgraded which is making it more original and making it more reliable for its users to expand the story and refining its gameplay system. The additions provide genuine value for both nostalgic fans and Persona newcomers.

Is Persona 3 Portable still worth playing?

Yes, Persona 3 Portable remains an amazing Persona experience, especially for its female protagonist route and portability on Vita and mobile devices. However, Persona 3 Reload constitutes the definitive edition with more robust enhancements and multiplatform options. So Reload may be preferable for some.

Does Persona 3 Portable have a good story?

Absolutely – Persona 3 Portable has an incredible and emotionally heavy story just like the PS2 original. Its plot dealing with themes of mortality and existentialism is widely praised as one of the Persona series’ best narratives.

Is Persona 3 Portable Steam good?

Yes, the Persona 3 Portable Steam port is very solid. It runs well, includes boosts like higher resolutions and customizable controls, and translates the distinctive PSP experience effectively to PC. But Persona 3 Reload may provide an even better way to enjoy P3 on PC.

Is Persona 3 Reload 60FPS?

On capable platforms like PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and higher-end PCs, Persona 3 Reload runs at 60 FPS delivering incredibly smooth performance compared to originals. The Switch version runs at 30 FPS docked and handheld.

Is Persona 3 Reload a remake?

No, Persona 3 Reload is more of an enhanced remaster rather than a full ground-up remake. It retains the original vision and gameplay while beautifying the graphics, expanding the story, modernizing mechanics, and boosting accessibility.

Is Persona 3 or 4 better?

It’s largely subjective between the seminal Persona 3 and the massively popular Persona 4 Golden. Both have phenomenal strengths like narrative, characters, gameplay, and music that make weighing them quite personal preference. Overall both are hall-of-fame JRPG experiences.

Is Persona 3 worth playing 2024?

Absolutely, Persona 3’s coming-of-age tale and emphasis on bonds make it timelessly powerful even 18+ years later. Persona 3 Reload in 2024 could be the best way to dive into this genre-defining experience that still holds up incredibly well even today.

What is the difference between Persona 3 and Persona 3 reload?

Persona 3 Reload includes enhanced HD visuals, additional story content with new narrative arcs and Social Links, refined combat and progression mechanics, more accessibility options, and releases simultaneously on modern gaming platforms.

Will Persona 3 Reload have female protagonist?

Unfortunately Persona 3 Reload does not include the acclaimed female protagonist route from Persona 3 Portable. Players hoping to specifically experience P3 from a female MC’s perspective may still want to seek out Persona 3 Portable.

Is Persona 3 Portable better than FES?

It’s largely subjective preference for portable factors vs bonus content. Portable has female MC route and more battle strategy freedom. FES has epilogue chapter The Answer and overworld 3D environments. Both amazing ways to enjoy P3 with tradeoffs.

Is Persona 3 Portable shorter?

Persona 3 Portable has a comparable main story length to FES, but doesn’t include the 30+ hour FES epilogue The Answer, so some may consider it shorter overall. Persona 3 Reload reintegrates key Answer concepts into revised ending.

Is P3P remaster worth it?

Absolutely, the P3P remaster would allow the fan favorite female MC route and distinctive PSP-era Persona 3 experience to be enjoyed on modern HD platforms. Integrating exclusive P3P content into a P3 Reload-style remaster could be incredible.

Has Persona 3 Portable aged well?

Yes, Persona 3 Portable has aged extremely gracefully. Its narrative, style, and mechanics mean it remains one of the best ways to enjoy Persona 3 even today. Some dated elements around visuals and UX are mitigated on new ports adding modern Quality-of-Life improvements.

What’s new in Persona 3 Reloaded?

P3 Reloaded adds enhanced HD visuals, new story arcs and Social Links, tweaked progression/battle mechanics, accessibility options, multiplatform support, upgraded UI, remixed soundtrack, and integrated concepts from epilogue The Answer.

Will Persona 3 Reload have more personas?

Yes, alongside retaining all original Personas to fuse, Persona 3 Reload will add several new mythical Personas to seek out tied to the expanded narrative focusing on the obscure Prixie race mentioned in P1/P2.

Should I play Persona 3 after 4?

Chronologically Persona 3 takes place before the events of Persona 4 and Persona 5. So there’s appeal in playing through the series chronologically. But release order or following what interests you most could work too. No strictly right or wrong order.

Is Persona 3 connected to 4?

Yes, although main casts don’t cross over, Personas 1-5 share loose connectivity with references suggesting they occupy the same broader universe. Minor character cameos also bridge P3 and P4 like school teacher Ms.Toriumi moving from Gekkoukan High to Yasogami High.

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